Calvinistic Belief

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Pax_Christi, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    "...the human will does not obtain grace by freedom, but obtains freedom by grace; when the feeling of delight has been imparted through the same grace, the human will is formed to endure; it is strengthened with unconquerable fortitude; controlled by grace, it never will perish, but, if grace forsake it, it will straightway fall; by the Lord's free mercy it is converted to good, and once converted it perseveres in good; the direction of the human will toward good, and after direction its continuation in good, depend solely upon God's will, not upon any merit of man. Thus there is left to man such free will, if we please so to call it, as he elsewhere describes: that except through grace the will can neither be converted to God nor abide in God; and whatever it can do it is able to do only through grace. " ~ Augustine
     
  2. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    I apologize for my rant. IMHO, nothing has kept more people away from Christianity (and hurt the spiritual life of baptized Christians) than the Calvinist combination of OSAS and double predestination.
    ==============================
    If I understand rightly, we all agree that Grace is God's free gift. The Holy Spirit dwells within us. We are to do greater things than even Jesus did. We are to heal the sick and the broken hearted. We are to spend our lives becoming more conformed to God; becoming God as the ECF's taught. We are welcomed into God's family as children. We spend our life growing in the Spirit.

    And yet, as much as we become more and more conformed to God and more like him, one attribute is denied us. After God has given us his Grace, and removed the barrier between us, we do not have Free Will. We cannot reject the Gift; we cannot give it back later in life. IMHO, God has given us much more than Calvinism would suggest. We are God-stuff.

    Of course, if we see folks clearly not acting as Christians, then we simply conclude that they were no elect in the first place. There is no reason to minister to those who are not elect.
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    Personally, I have always found Calvinist theology very strange indeed. It is clear (TULIP is a fine explanation). It is consistent. But I stand with the Orthodox (and Roman Catholics and Methodists and others), it is not orthodox Christianity.

    From a pastoral view, I understand the value of the "Baptist union card" as we often call OSAS (once saved always saved) in the US. Perhaps this is so. Blessed Assurance is a useful doctrine if understand rightly.

    However, IMHO, double predestination makes our lives a sham. I could never convince folks to evangelize if all was predetermined, some for heaven, and some for hell. What point is there in sanctification, other than doing our duty in response to the gift God has given us. And yes, I understand that we should evangelize because it is our duty. Without double predestination, the emphasis is much, much different.

    So, for me, the union of OSAS and double pre-destination is about as bad as it gets, And yes, fellow Christians will try to understand our brothers and sisters who have chose the Calvinist path for their spiritual walk. All groups have an incomplete deposit of faith. The Reformation gave us much, and cost us much.

     
  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Nope. Berkhof uses the language of cooperation and synergism, which Hoeksma rejects as inappropriate and Arminian. Let's be clear here: any language of synergism is Arminian, according to Hoeksma.

    There are only two alternatives here: sanctification is either monergistic or synergistic. Some especially modern Reformed are comfortable speaking of it in synergistic manner, which is but an infiltration of Arminianism (my theology) into the Reformed camp. Classic Reformed theology always taught monergism across all aspects of human life, as Hoeksma, Murray, Dort, Westminster Confession, all show.
     
  4. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    You need to examine how each side uses the words. It's obvious from the context that Owen et al do not use cooperation in the same sense as Arminians. Therefore it cannot be an Arminian infiltration.
     
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    So...Amyraldianism wins right?
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Now you're just egging people on :)
     
  7. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    I believe that warnings not to forsake God is a means whereby God preserves His elect if that answers your question? I do believe that Christians can and do turn their backs on God temporarily, but ultimately those whom God has chosen will be preserved and brought back in the fold.
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    or one would hope...
     
  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    God's theology does not contain mental pretzels like that :)
     
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  10. Andrew Evans

    Andrew Evans New Member

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    Those scriptures resonate with me as well, as does this statement from the Council of Quierzy in 853: “Just as there neither is, was, nor will be any man whose nature was not assumed by Christ Jesus our Lord, so there neither is, was, nor will be any man for whom Christ did not suffer, although not all are redeemed by the mystery of His passion.”
     
  11. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Calvinism is not found in the fathers, is a misreading of Scriptures, and is dangerously close to heretical
     
  12. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    That may be your opinion but it is interesting that the framers of the 39 articles worded them in such a way as to allow Calvinistic Anglicans within the denomination.
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I've read some opinions that the term, "Calvinism," is often used to label very narrowly drawn ideas which may not take into account the breadth of Calvin's actual beliefs, let alone the fact that his beliefs evolved somewhat over his lifetime. Sort of similar to trying to nail water to a wall. But I haven't ever studied it for myself.
     
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  14. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Agreed; from what I can tell, the phenomenon known as Calvinism started off as a broad tradition (with major overlaps with the English reformers) very nearly in communion with Lutheranism, and over time become increasingly narrow. Arminius wasn't ruled out until the Synod of Dort, and since then the Presbys have become their own thing, fracturing further into some of the early Baptists and whatnot. So it's totally fair to say that Anglican doctrine is heavily influenced by Calvinism, but it would also be historically misleading not to clarify that we mean classical, not modern, Calvinism.
     
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  15. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I've been asking for years, trying to get anyone to show me any influence of Calvin on Anglican doctrine. It would need to be something new in his works which didn't exist in church history.

    For example take double predestination. Not that Anglicans even accept that doctrine, but still this 'most calvinist' of Calvinisms, we discover was taken by John Calvin verbatim from Thomas Aquinas. This was not where Calvin differed from the medieval church, so much so that Dominicans and Thomists historically felt the sting of being called 'calvinists'. Thus the Jesuits invented molinism in the 1580s just to get away from the Thomist double-predestination which they felt became coopted by calvinists. So even if Anglicans believed in double predestination (we don't), it would not be a Calvinist doctrine, but rather something from the medieval scholastics.

    So the burden of proof for someone to show that there was even a scintilla of Calvinism in Anglican doctrine is pretty high, and in all my years of asking about it, no one's been able to successfully show it.
     
  16. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    If I remember right some of the Anglican people who went to the synod of Dort came back and said they were done with Calvin after that. It is fair to say that Calvinism could more accurately be called Zwingellianism
     
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  17. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I know it was sad that they left that open.,
     
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    You seem to be saying that a "Calvinist" doctrine must necessarily originate with Calvin, but if that is your standard for detecting Calvinism, then of course you'll never find it because Calvin learned everything he knew from prior churchmen and he mostly likely didn't invent or introduce anything that was entirely new. Am I right?

    Perhaps a more sure way of detecting Calvin's influence on Anglican doctrine is to look for similarities that might be attributed to early Anglican theologians having read and agreed with something Calvin wrote. (I assume there must not be any early Anglican documents in which the writer quoted Calvin with some measure of agreement... which would strongly show Calvinist influence... or else a forum member would have called it to your attention by now.)
     
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  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There were plenty of writers who a cited a bit from the Reformed, cited a bunch from the Lutherans, and of course the Roman Missal being a key starting point for the Book of Common Prayer.

    But some people act as if those are the foundational options in life: you can either be Reformed, or Lutheran, or Roman, and the question is which camp the Anglicans should belong to.

    In other words some people often frame those camps as hegemonic, and elevate their influences as somehow primordial/foundational. Which is silly. Those were all time-conditioned and transient categories.

    But the truth is, the major camps of the Reformation did contain some fragment of the Patristic Church, and Anglicans seeking to be the church of the Fathers, appreciated the patristic fragments in those around them.

    So for example the idea of Scripture comes directly from the Fathers and they were happy to share that with the Lutherans. The idea that images can be dangerous in worship comes directly from St. Augustine, and they were happy to share that with Calvin who cites Augustine on this point. The idea of the liturgy is completely patristic so they were happy to share that with the Romans. Anything those camps had which could not be found in the Fathers, they eagerly rejected.

    It’s the Fathers who were the standard. Not what was proclaimed in Geneva’s magisterium of Pope Calvin the First. Or Rome’s magisterium of Pope Paul V.

    Neither the Romans, nor the Lutherans, nor the Reformed are primordial/foundational categories; they are transient, changing and passing away before our eyes as we speak.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  20. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Be careful with that -- Origen strayed rather badly late in life, and there is much even in Augustine that must be read with discernment.